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Goatwhore - "Blood for the Master" (CD)

Goatwhore - "Blood for the Master" CD cover image

"Blood for the Master" track listing:

1. Collapse in Eternal Worth
2. When Steel and Bone Meet
3. Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word
4. In Deathless Tradition
5. Judgment of the Bleeding Crown
6. Embodimentof The Bitter Chaos
7. Beyond the Spell of Discontent
8. Death to the Architects of Heaven
9. An End to Nothing
10. My Name Is Frightful Among the Believers

Reviewed by on February 24, 2012

"The band pulls from its sincere admiration for earlier metal acts like Judas Priest and Hellhammer and mixes it masterfully with Goatwhore’s particular brand of fierce and strict black metal."

Goatwhore’s fifth release definitely has a more varied sound than previous albums. The band pulls from its sincere admiration for earlier metal acts like Judas Priest and Hellhammer and mixes it masterfully with Goatwhore’s particular brand of fierce and strict black metal. “Blood For the Master” brought me back to my own reverence and love for seventies and early eighties metal bands, making it a fun listen that has the power to take anyone to another time and age.

The album begins with an immediate assault in “Collapse in Eternal Worth,” as the music is immediately extreme and purely black metal with no lead-in or intro to prepare the listener for the assault that follows. The next song slides the mood into a more classic metal influenced piece “When Steel and Bone Meet.” Goatwhore is known for a love of Judas Priest, and it is starting to show on this album. Guitarist Sammy Duet masterfully plays a very classic, wailing solo. His solo in “An End to Nothing” is also very classic metal oriented with notes so high it almost sounds like the manipulation of a Theremin.

“Blood for the Master” holds so many surprises that I had to listen to the album again and again just to hear them all. In addition to Sammy letting loose his guitar, for instance, vocalist Ben Falgoust changes styles during some moments. He hisses softly and menacingly during breakdowns in “Judgement of the Bleeding Crown" that are punctuated in a nearly militaristic march style by guitar and drums, and in “Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos,” the usual over-lay of the vocals is not present. Instead, Ben utters short phrases sporadically in a nearly hardcore style that provides a change-up that needs to be listened to closely. Other elements of the song are also not typical for the band, which begins with a slow fade in with acoustic guitar that adds a silvery and sad lining to a wailing electric guitar before going into the namesake chaos.

“In Deathless Tradition” and “Judgement..." have fairly slow tempos for a band that is known for incredibly fast playing in the style of the black metal progenitors, but that slow beat only makes for a more intimidating sound. Drummer Zack Simmons does very well keeping up with the switching between genres and tempos without any loss of ability during songs like the more distinctive “Beyond the Spell of Discontent” and early metal-inspired sections.

The CD and vinyl album also features striking artwork by tattoo artist Jordan Barlow. “Blood for the Master” shows the band’s foray from pure black metal into a love for classic metal.

Highs: Great mix of black and classic metal that Goatwhore hasn't done before.

Lows: Not the pure black metal the band is known for.

Bottom line: "Blood For The Master" is one of Goathwore's best albums.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)